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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Yuki Tsunoda Wants More Than Just to Compete in the Top 10 – “Red Bull Helps”

V-CARB or just RB, for simplicity’s sake, will be working more closely with their main team – Red Bull – from 2024. This arrangement is triggering a lot of chatter in the paddock. Given the common ownership for both teams, it gives them control and opportunities for knowledge-sharing. Yuki Tsunoda feels that the formerly AlphaTauri team will benefit a lot from this collaboration. Thus, the Japanese driver is expecting to capitalize on this opportunity on the back of a spectacular second half of 2023.

Speaking to the official Formula 1 website, Tsunoda gave his thoughts on RB’s prospects in the 2024 season. As quoted by Formule1 magazine, he said, “There may be even more possible with this car [VCARB-01]. The collaboration with Red Bull helps.”

The factor behind Yuki Tsunoda’s optimism is naturally Red Bull’s dominant 2023 season. Thus, the 23-year-old feels the increased collaboration with Red Bull will benefit Visa RB in their car development too. Last year, Tsunoda and Ricciardo were settling for the lower half of the top 10, scraping a point or two in some races.

In 2024, the #22 driver hopes to make a step forward with the improved car to hopefully consistently be in the points. The increased collaboration involves the Faenza team using more of the listed parts and components from Red Bull.

They will look to inculcate their suspension systems, the gearbox casings, and follow a Red Bull-style philosophy in their aero concepts and designs of the car. If this arrangement works well, the RB cars of Tsunoda and Ricciardo may witness an improvement in performance in 2024.

Certainly, the energy and feel at the Visa RB car launch gave a different sense of the team. It seems like they are confident to make a step forward as they did towards the end of last season. The extent of their step up can only be understood when their car hits the track in Bahrain in a few weeks.

Can V-CARB spring a surprise in 2024?

RB, previously Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri, have always been a sister team to Red Bull Racing. Previously, they only used to be a junior team for the Austrian outfit to groom and test its young drivers. However, on the car development side, they extensively used cars and parts from Red Bull’s previous seasons to build their challengers.

So, this collaboration between RB and the Milton Keynes team has existed since its Toro Rosso days. Although, in 2024, the VCARB avatar has caused quite a stir. Due to common ownership with Red Bull, the Faenza outfit is facing some opposition from F1 team bosses.

Many like Zak Brown have objected to how this intensified collaboration between VCARB and Red Bull may give them an unfair advantage. The McLaren CEO cited that teams should be truly independent in the current state of F1 and such arrangements may cause possible collusion in car development.

However, as things stand, from the FIA and F1’s perspective, no such collusion is happening between the two teams. The FIA will be focusing on doing sudden checks at the team’s Milton Keynes and Faenza facilities, according to The Race, to keep an eye on any violations.

For now, the RB F1 team looks set to benefit from Red Bull’s dominant RB19. With several transferable components and a highly effective aero concept, the VCARB-01 may be a surprise in 2024. Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo would hope they fight in the top half of the grid more often this season.

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